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What Qualifications Does a Chief of Staff Need?

April 27, 2022

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Not unlike an executive or administrative assistant, a Chief of Staff is responsible for a lot of clerical and administrative duties. Chiefs of Staff spend much of their days interacting with different people, scheduling meetings, and managing tasks.

But there are a few distinct differences between a Chief of Staff role and an executive assistant role. For instance, a Chief of Staff takes on several leadership roles that an assistant might not see. 

Anyone can be a Chief of Staff, but having administrative experience is invaluable in preparing for the role.

Let us take you through what a Chief of Staff is, how to become one, and what qualifications set you up for success in this role. 

Let’s Look at the Chief of Staff Job Description 

Let’s start with a job description of a Chief of Staff. According to Indeed, a “Chief of Staff is a professional who helps the CEO oversee operations within a company. The role is a partnership with other organizational leaders”. 

Some of the responsibilities of a Chief of Staff include:

  • Attending meetings on the CEO’s behalf and taking notes
  • Providing leadership with important company information
  • Leading and implementing various business strategies
  • Collaborating with executive team members to determine and plan business strategies
  • Managing CEO’s schedule, scheduling meetings, and planning travel
  • Advising team leaders on how to improve teamwork
  • Determining and measuring team performance

What is Different About Chief of Staff Jobs?

Similarly to an assistant role, a Chief of Staff is going to have a bird’s eye view of the company. What sets them apart is a bigger role in leadership, decision-making, and overseeing team performance. Instead of just assisting the members of the team, they are supervising and advising. 

In some ways, a Chief of Staff is a lot like a Vice President. They will take on the Chief Officer’s roles in their absence and step in in their stead. 

Chief of Staff jobs give the administrators who see everything some authority to make decisions to improve, change, and enhance the work environment.

For more information about what a Chief of Staff vs. an Executive Assistant, check out this blog post from the experts at ASAP!

What Do I Need to Be a Chief of Staff?

Naturally, an important aspect of being a Chief of Staff is being a good leader. Leadership skills can be something you’re born with or a skill you hone as you move forward in your career. 

Chiefs of Staff see and analyze the same information as executive assistants, but they’re tasked with using that information to make decisions and implement change. Being able to consider extensive data and make decisions is important, too.

Not only are you communicating with senior leadership and the CEO in the company, you’re working with lower-level members of the team, too. Having a strong sense of communication is essential to being a Chief of Staff.

You’re also expected to stand in for a CEO in meetings or in their absence. You’ll need to be able to communicate the CEO’s intentions to the other meeting members, as well as what took place in the meeting to the CEO.

A Chief of Staff is expected to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, though many hiring managers might prefer a Master’s degree.

In terms of experience, a Chief of Staff is expected to improve the daily operations of a company, so they should have experience with the daily operations of the company. Whether it’s the company they started at or a new company, knowing what makes a ship run smoothly on the day-to-day is so important. 

Are you an administrative assistant with a passion for helping your business run smoothly? Let the experts at ASAP help you hone your skills and even learn some new ones with training conferences, webinars, and certification programs for administrative assistants, executive assistants, administrative staff, administrative professionals, coordinators, and more!


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